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#1 GameMasterNewbie

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:08 PM

 I've got a group that is composed mainly of players who have never played a roleplaying game before, and I am having some trouble. This being my first time really GMing a game, I'm a little out of my element although I have played plenty of games in the past. We are all fairly new to this system, but we all play the Warhammer 40k mini game. As our sessions have started, the tone is hard to set. I try my hardest to keep things in the world, but only about halfway through our long, long sessions do the players seem to take it seriously. Last night, one of the players even demanded that I play the game with a character so that he could GM, because he didn't want me to "miss out on the fun part of the game". What followed was a horrific exercise in futility, and I snatched the reigns back up as soon as he would let me. I am just having a hard time keeping everything reigned in and running properly. I come prepared, and I know the guys really want to play, but getting everything to work together has been difficult. Is this normal, and does anybody have suggestions? Questions? I just want help.



#2 Guards

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:58 AM

GameMasterNewbie said:

 I've got a group that is composed mainly of players who have never played a roleplaying game before, and I am having some trouble. This being my first time really GMing a game, I'm a little out of my element although I have played plenty of games in the past. We are all fairly new to this system, but we all play the Warhammer 40k mini game. As our sessions have started, the tone is hard to set. I try my hardest to keep things in the world, but only about halfway through our long, long sessions do the players seem to take it seriously. Last night, one of the players even demanded that I play the game with a character so that he could GM, because he didn't want me to "miss out on the fun part of the game". What followed was a horrific exercise in futility, and I snatched the reigns back up as soon as he would let me. I am just having a hard time keeping everything reigned in and running properly. I come prepared, and I know the guys really want to play, but getting everything to work together has been difficult. Is this normal, and does anybody have suggestions? Questions? I just want help.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I will try to clearly answer your questions one at a time. Also you have come to the right place and there are plenty of other people here who will help you.

I’ve had to do something similar I essentially carved out a Dark Heresy group from scratch, they knew next to nothing about the Warhammer 40k lore except for one who is my assistant story teller. I took a lot of time and patience to find interested player roll them characters work on their background and familiarize them with the lore. Work with them however you can.

As a GM you are the story teller, the referee, all of the enemies, you make the story, the universe itself, and GOD ALMIGHTY! Use this as you will remember you want them to have fun, and If they are you will too. I cannot express strongly enough how you should not get frustrated when they get sidetracked/completely derail your story. YOU are GOD you can get it back on track. Be creative and if their actions alter the story let them at the players profit or peril.

It is the grim darkness of the 41st millennium if you want to use this tone that so much of the lore and rules reflects here are some tips.

They are not “Player Characters” they are Inquisition Acolytes. They are a part of an investigation longer than themselves. They have fate points they can burn YOU don’t need to protect them.

The Inquisitor probably sees them as EXENDABLE make his attitude towards them (specifically at low ranks) reflect that.

Ask for feedback and ask what THEY want.

Make all the “Mission Critical” characters NPC’s that way you can kill off characters as need or you know it is dangerous they might just DIE.

Never let players make demands of you they can ASK NOT TELL. YOU are in charge, take their thoughts and feelings into strong consideration. But do not EVER appear weak. You are the UNIVERSE if they can walk all over you they think the campaign will be a cake walk.

While I have said a lot about how much power the GM has I will tell you not to abuse it or be UNREASONABLY cruel. If they are fighting or engaged in some way with pure evil be cruel and underhanded be the enemy, be the bullet that will take them down. It’s up to THEM to survive.

I hope this was helpful this is my personal style it has worked VERY well for me. If you would be will to share more about your own preferred style I’m sure me and everyone else here could be of great help.

Thank You for sharing and once again Welcome to the Forums.

Contempt is my armor, Disgust is my shield, Hate is my Sword.
And by the Emperor None shall Survive!!!!



#3 Adeptus-B

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:08 PM

It sounds to me like the only real problem is a lack of experience, and the confidence that comes with it. If the GM is comfortable with the rules and the players are familiar with the setting and motivated to play, that's 90% of the game right there; my only real advice to you is to just keep at it, and your group should eventually settle in and start enjoying the experience.



#4 Nameless2all

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:27 PM

GameMasterNewbie said:

 I've got a group that is composed mainly of players who have never played a roleplaying game before, and I am having some trouble. This being my first time really GMing a game, I'm a little out of my element although I have played plenty of games in the past. We are all fairly new to this system, but we all play the Warhammer 40k mini game. As our sessions have started, the tone is hard to set. I try my hardest to keep things in the world, but only about halfway through our long, long sessions do the players seem to take it seriously. Last night, one of the players even demanded that I play the game with a character so that he could GM, because he didn't want me to "miss out on the fun part of the game". What followed was a horrific exercise in futility, and I snatched the reigns back up as soon as he would let me. I am just having a hard time keeping everything reigned in and running properly. I come prepared, and I know the guys really want to play, but getting everything to work together has been difficult. Is this normal, and does anybody have suggestions? Questions? I just want help.

GameMasterNewbie said:

 I've got a group that is composed mainly of players who have never played a roleplaying game before, and I am having some trouble. This being my first time really GMing a game, I'm a little out of my element although I have played plenty of games in the past. We are all fairly new to this system, but we all play the Warhammer 40k mini game. As our sessions have started, the tone is hard to set. I try my hardest to keep things in the world, but only about halfway through our long, long sessions do the players seem to take it seriously. Last night, one of the players even demanded that I play the game with a character so that he could GM, because he didn't want me to "miss out on the fun part of the game". What followed was a horrific exercise in futility, and I snatched the reigns back up as soon as he would let me. I am just having a hard time keeping everything reigned in and running properly. I come prepared, and I know the guys really want to play, but getting everything to work together has been difficult. Is this normal, and does anybody have suggestions? Questions? I just want help.

All that really matters is if everyone is having fun, including you.  From my experience and opinion, DH can be investigative centered, combat themed, story driven, and/or a combination of the above.

For investigation centered, go here www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp .  TheFlatline explained a complex concept, into a simple format.

Combat themed DH is just that.  Think of the Call of Duty, Army of Two, etc, but with a Warhammer 40k theme. 

Story driven is more roleplaying, and involves allot of prep-work and notes taking on your part, with possibly (my favorite), cut scenes. 

Which one should you tailor to your group?  Well, that's something you and your group are going to have to find out the hard way.  Trail and error.  Asking for input, guidance, or what you as a GM can do better.  This works both ways mind you, with you asking your player(s) to say focused and quit doing "weird" stuff.  No matter what though, the main focus is to have fun.  My later days of GMing (about 12 years under my belt so far), involved more story driven lasting about 4 hours, and then just us bsing and having talking about random stuff for about 2 hours, mixed in-between the 4 hour game.  Some was game related, most was mostly not, now that I recall.  The point was to have fun, and that we did. 

As far as your campaign goes, you can have it in a linear format (like almost all video games), free flowing, or a mix.  A mix is where your mostly striving for, until you have an experienced group and then it can be more free flowing or linear.

Linear is allot allot allot of work on your part.  I've only had one linear game, which took me 30 pages of writing.  We all had a blast, and the group wanted me to do it again, but I never found the time.  :(

Free flowing is just your group giving you ideas to work off of, and you just having a broad concept of what they are after.  This idea works well with RT, since it's way more character driven.

Mix is just that.  Best way that I can explain it is this.  Say your players are sent to a world to investigate where some xeno looking but human made weapons are coming from.  You know that a Heretek is making them, supplying them to a disgraced Noble 'kid', who in turn supplies them to dealers and sells them to other Noble's, merchants, cultists, etc.  The only info the players have is that the Arbites raided an arms dealers hideout, and discovered these xeno looking weapons.  After the PC's interrogate said arms dealer, they find out he knows nothing other than a drop box was used to contact him that told him where to pick up the weapons.  Investigating said drop off point and drop box netted nothing.  The PC's now have several options that you thought of, but haven't fleshed out into detail.  They can either a) poss as new arms dealers looking for a contact  b) poss as Noble men/women looking for a seller  c) poss as cultists looking for new weapons, or something similar to this concept.  You know that the PC's are going to have to follow/track someone (or more if they want) to a drop box, and then make a second order and wait to see who shows up at said drop box or drop off point first.  From there, they can follow that messenger or grab and interrogate him/her, which will lead them to the Noble either threw data links, phone wire taps, or Throne transfers or all the aforementioned.  Interrogating (highly discouraged due to his pull) or following the Noble (highly recommended) leads the PC's to an abandoned subway station, where the Noble meets a servo skull that leads him to the Heretek.  Now, how exactly do the PC's do all of this is up to them, but you have a mix format to work off of.  And this is how I usually GM my campaigns.

If you happen to have another person who also likes to GM from time to time, you can have that "assistant story teller" at hand for when you need a break, or when you need some more time to come up with a story.  IMHO, I wouldn't allow him/her to GM your campaign (unless you both have great trust in each other), but to GM his/her own campaign with you playing in it.

As previously mentioned, this is all from my own experience and opinion.  GM discretion is advised.    Happy gaming and welcome to Dark Heresy.


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